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Mejlis (Assembly)

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Mejlis / Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)19 December 2004
9 January 2005
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
On 19 December 2004 a total of 131 candidates ran for election to the Assembly (Majlis) in this former Soviet republic of 4.9 million people, covered largely by desert but rich in natural gas.

Many human rights activists claim that all candidates were "hand-picked" and personally approved by the President-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov, considered to be the most powerful figure in Turkmenistan since 1985. Under the 1992 constitution, legislative power is shared by two bodies: the People's Council (Halk Maslahaty) and the Assembly (Majlis). In 2003 President Niyazov reduced the unicameral Assembly's role by depriving it of the right to make constitutional changes. At the same time, he made the People's Council the country's highest legislative body. The Council, headed by the President himself, is composed of more than 2,000 top officials and elders some of whom are elected by popular vote and others appointed.

All the incumbent members of the Assembly belonged to Mr. Niyazov's Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (DPT). The DPT remains the country's only legal party as formal political parties are banned. Under such circumstances, the Turkmen leader holds full power over the country, and has resisted moves toward democracy and economic reforms by isolating the country from the international community.

According to the office of the special envoy of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to Central Asia, no international observer was invited by the Turkmen government to monitor the election. In fact, the OSCE was refused entry to Turkmenistan. The Turkmen government said that fairness would be ensured by some 200 of the country's own monitors representing the DPT, the Youth Union, the Women's Union and trade unions. Rights activists qualified the polls as mere "window dressing".

According to Turkmen election officials, 1,915,000 people, or 76.88 percent of eligible voters, cast their ballot, largely exceeding the 50 percent required to validate the poll, but much lower than the 99.6 percent turnout in the last election in 1999. It is reported that polling stations in the capital, Ashgabat, were almost empty throughout the day, causing election officials to carry ballot boxes from door to door. National observers and election officials nevertheless concluded that the voting process had satisfied the country's laws.

In the first round, parliamentarians were elected in 43 electoral districts. The Turkmen law on elections stipulates that a run-off must be organized if no one gains over 50% in a voting district where three or more candidates are registered. Runoff ballots were therefore held on 9 January 2005 for the two leading candidates in the remaining seven districts.
Voter turnout
Round no 119 December 2004
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Round no 29 January 2005
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (DPT) 131
Round no 2
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (DPT)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (DPT) 43
Round no 2
Political Group Total
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (DPT) 7
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession

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